McDonalds All American: Day 1 Notes
Published by Gilbert Muako on March 28, 2011
It was a light first day to open the 2011 McDonald’s All American week. After arriving in Chicago at around 1PM we headed straight to the gym to sink in some early action as the 24 selected athletes took court for a light practice and scrimmage.
For the second year straight Canada will have two or more representatives. Building off the momentum from last year, with Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph, this year’s event will see 6-foot-2 point guard Myck Kabongo, 6-foot-9 forward Khem Birch and 6-foot-9 forward Kyle Wiltjer suiting up in the prestigious game.
With a good amount NBA scouts watching on, the prospects took the floor and went out strong on a two hour practice and scrimmage session. Though it was a shorter session than the days ahead will be, we saw all three guys display some solid effort and abilities.
Myck Kabongo, 6-foot-2 Point Guard, West Team
The Good: Kabongo was explosive in the open court, keeping a tight handle with both hands while reading and seeing plays one step ahead. He makes an impact on the court in many ways and his leadership is second to none. A coach’s dream point guard.
The Bad: The biggest weakness we saw from Kabongo was the inconsistency when finishing around the rim. He’ll need to add strength to better handle any contact in the air while looking to complete baskets.
Kyle Wiltjer, 6-foot-9 Power Forward, West Team
The Good: Wiltjer wasn’t the most athletic big on the court but his skill set allows you to look past it. He has great hands and excellent foot work. He also boasts a soft touch that allows him to score from the mid-range and also pop out to nail a three pointer.
The Bad: As skilled as Wiltjer is, we would like to see him up his aggressiveness.
Khem Birch, 6-foot-9 Power Forward, West Team
The Good: No one made their presence felt at the defensive end more than Birch. He’s incredible protecting the rim and using his length to change shots. He’s very athletic and uses it to chase down rebounds. His athleticism combined with his great timing led to a few sensational blocks.
The Bad: Though he did a fantastic job finishing around the rim, Birch’s offensive game is still pretty raw as he struggled to knock down the short jumper when left open.
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